In December, we set expectations extremely high for ourselves and for those we know and love. We rush into the month with lists and plans for decorating, baking, shopping and partying – all so we can celebrate and show our love for God and one another. We want to wow everyone, including ourselves.
We create unrealistic expectations, hoping to have the best Christmas ever and we often base those expectations off embellished memories from our past.
We can enter December magnifying our misrepresented version of the perfect Christmas. The looming realization that most or all of our high expectations will not be met can lead us to increased anxiety or depression. This experience can push our strained relationships over the edge and even strain our healthy ones – which is the exact opposite of our original hope.
I’ve been asking myself over these past few days what or who do I want to magnify in this holy season of Advent. Advent means coming, waiting and preparing for Jesus to be born again in my life and so Advent requires some patience, quiet and calmness. So, I’ve been remembering the words Mary shared while she waited for Jesus to come and her words give me peace and hope.
And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,… Luke 1:46-53 (ESV)